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The Diet-Heart Myth: Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Are Not the Enemy


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To read more about heart disease and cholesterol, check out this eBook on the Diet–Heart Myth.

It’s hard to overstate the impact that cardiovascular disease (CVD) has in the U.S.. Consider the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease affects 65 million Americans.
  • Close to one million Americans have a heart attack each year.
  • In the U.S., one person dies every 39 seconds of cardiovascular disease.
  • 1 of 3 deaths that occurs in the U.S. is caused by cardiovascular disease.
  • 1 in 3 Americans have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of major cardiovascular risk factors related to overweight/obesity and insulin resistance.
  • The total cost of cardiovascular disease in 2008 was estimated at $300 billion.

To put that last statistic in perspective, the World Health Organization has estimated that ending world hunger would cost approximately $195 billion. One might argue that the $300 billion we spend on treating cardiovascular disease in the U.S. is a necessary expenditure; however, a recent study which looked at the relationship between heart disease and lifestyle suggested that 90% of CVD is caused by modifiable diet and lifestyle factors. (1)

Unfortunately, cardiovascular disease is one of the most misdiagnosed and mistreated conditions in medicine. We’ve learned a tremendous amount about what causes heart disease over the past decade, but the medical establishment is still operating on outdated science from 40-50 years ago.

In this 4-part series, I’m going to debunk 3 common myths about heart disease:

  1. Eating cholesterol and saturated fat raises cholesterol levels in the blood.
  2. High cholesterol in the blood is the cause of heart disease.
  3. Statins save lives in healthy people without heart disease.

In the fourth and final article in the series, I’ll discuss strategies for naturally protecting yourself against heart disease and improving your heart health.

Myth #1: Eating Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Raises Cholesterol Levels in the Blood.

Most of us grew up being told that foods like red meat, eggs and bacon raise our cholesterol levels. This idea is so deeply ingrained in our cultural psyche that few people even question it. But is it really true?

The diet-heart hypothesis—which holds that eating cholesterol and saturated fat raises cholesterol in our blood—originated with studies in both animals and humans more than half a century ago. However, more recent (and higher quality) evidence doesn’t support it.

Cholesterol and saturated fat: dietary enemies or innocent victims of bad science?Tweet This

On any given day, we have between 1,100 and 1,700 milligrams of cholesterol in our body. 25% of that comes from our diet, and 75% is produced inside of our bodies by the liver. Much of the cholesterol that’s found in food can’t be absorbed by our bodies, and most of the cholesterol in our gut was first synthesized in body cells and ended up in the gut via the liver and gall bladder. The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling internal production; when cholesterol intake in the diet goes down, the body makes more. When cholesterol intake in the diet goes up, the body makes less.

This explains why well-designed cholesterol feeding studies (where they feed volunteers 2-4 eggs a day and measure their cholesterol) show that dietary cholesterol has very little impact on blood cholesterol levels in about 75% of the population. The remaining 25% of the population are referred to as “hyper-responders”. In this group, dietary cholesterol does modestly increase both LDL (“bad cholesterol” and HDL (“good cholesterol”), but it does not affect the ratio of LDL to HDL or increase the risk of heart disease. (2)

In other words, eating cholesterol isn’t going to give you a heart attack. You can ditch the egg-white omelettes and start eating yolks again. That’s a good thing, since all of the 13 essential nutrients eggs contain are found in the yolk. Egg yolks are an especially good source of choline, a B-vitamin that plays important roles in everything from neurotransmitter production to detoxification to maintenance of healthy cells. (3) Studies show that up to 90% of Americans don’t get enough choline, which can lead to fatigue, insomnia, poor kidney function, memory problems and nerve-muscle imbalances. (4)

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What about saturated fat? It’s true that some studies show that saturated fat intake raises blood cholesterol levels. But these studies are almost always short-term, lasting only a few weeks. (5) Longer-term studies have not shown an association between saturated fat intake and blood cholesterol levels. In fact, of all of the long-term studies examining this issue, only one of them showed a clear association between saturated fat intake and cholesterol levels, and even that association was weak. (6)

Moreover, studies on low-carbohydrate diets (which tend to be high in saturated fat) suggest that they not only don’t raise blood cholesterol, they have several beneficial impacts on cardiovascular disease risk markers. For example, a meta-analysis of 17 low-carb diet trials covering 1,140 obese patients published in the journal Obesity Reviews found that low-carb diets neither increased nor decreased LDL cholesterol. However, they did find that low-carb diets were associated with significant decreases is body weight as well as improvements in several CV risk factors, including decreases in triglycerides, fasting glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, abdominal circumference, plasma insulin and c-reactive protein, as well as an increase in HDL cholesterol. (7)

If you’re wondering whether saturated fat may contribute to heart disease in some way that isn’t related to cholesterol, a large meta-analysis of prospective studies involving close to 350,000 participants found no association between saturated fat and heart disease. (8) A Japanese prospective study that followed 58,000 men for an average of 14 years found no association between saturated fat intake and heart disease, and an inverse association between saturated fat and stroke (i.e. those who ate more saturated fat had a lower risk of stroke). (9)

That said, just as not everyone responds to dietary cholesterol in the same manner, there’s some variation in how individuals respond to dietary saturated fat. If we took ten people, fed them a diet high in saturated fat, and measured their cholesterol levels, we’d see a range of responses that averages out to no net increase or decrease. (If dietary saturated fat does increase your total or LDL cholesterol, the more important question is whether that’s a problem. I’ll address that in the next article in this series.)

Another strike against the diet-heart hypothesis is that many of its original proponents haven’t believed it for at least two decades. In a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine in 1991, Ancel Keys, the founder of the diet-heart hypothesis said (10):

Dietary cholesterol has an important effect on the cholesterol level in the blood of chickens and rabbits, but many controlled experiments have shown that dietary cholesterol has a limited effect in humans. Adding cholesterol to a cholesterol-free diet raises the blood level in humans, but when added to an unrestricted diet, it has a minimal effect.

In a 2004 editorial in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, Sylvan Lee Weinberg, former president of the American College of Cardiology and outspoken proponent of the diet-heart hypothesis, said (11):

The low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet… may well have played an unintended role in the current epidemics of obesity, lipid abnormalities, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndromes. This diet can no longer be defended by appeal to the authority of prestigious medical organizations.

We’ve now established that eating cholesterol and saturated fat does not increase cholesterol levels in the blood for most people. In the next article, I’ll debunk the myth that high cholesterol in the blood is the cause of heart disease.

Cholesterol is just one of many factors that determine our cardiovascular health. Many studies suggest that inflammation, oxidative stress, and endothelial function play an even greater role in the pathogenesis of heart disease.

To protect our heart and live a long, healthy life, we need to give our body all of the nutrients it needs for optimal function. That’s exactly why I created the Adapt Naturals Core Plus bundle.It’s a daily stack of 5 products designed to restore optimal nutrient levels so your body can function as it was intended to, and you can feel and perform your best.

From essential heart health-promoting vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, folate, magnesium, and vitamin D, to phytonutrients like bioflavonoids, carotenoids, and beta-glucans, Core Plus has you covered.

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Join the conversation

  1. This is some of the worst advise i have heard. You say that dietary cholesterol does not increase your cholesterol level in your blood is flat out false. Listen to top cardiologist they all say that dietary cholesterol should be either low if not completely eliminated from your diete. 4 years ago I ate meant and dairy. My cholesterol was 250 and was climbing every year. I felt like shit most afternoons and mornings and I worked out almost everyday. I read some books about plant based whole food diete and decided to give it a try. Within 2-3 months I lost 40lbs and my cholesterol went down to 151. I felt like a new man. There is case after case of reversing disease like heart, diabetes,stroke, and Alzheimer’s by not eating cholesterol. Don’t listen to this it’s dangerous!

    • The issue that you are missing is that all of this outdated 50 year old data does not take into account how much carbs are also eaten.

      If you only look at one thing, it is a total falsehood. You must look at the entire diet.

      There are many scientific studies that show if you restrict your carbs (without concern for fat intake) you will maintain an ideal body weight and have decent ratios of HDL to LDL.

      Trans fats (man made saturated fats from vegetable oils); heating of vegetable oils (which includes all commercial ‘refined’ – using heat – vegetable oils, even if used cold; and especially toxic is any heating / cooking with vegetable oils, deep frying being the worst) is super toxic for your heart.

      You must look at the tons of recent scientific research on the subject. What people forget is that all those extra carbs, over and above your immediate needs, is CONVERTED TO SATURATED FAT IN THE BODY!

      It is the combination of too many carbs, damaged vegetable oils, and possibly saturated fat that overloads the blood. If your carb intake is high, restrict your fats; if your fat intake is high, restrict your carbs. The body cannot handle an excess of both at once.

      The operative word here is excess; do not overload your system.

      We have two distinct metabolisms. You are either in carb burning mode, or fat burning mode; you cannot be in both at the same time.

      Also, there is tons of scientific evidence that refined sugar and flour (stripped of all minerals) is a huge cause of heart and stroke problems. Especially magnesium too low vs calcium intake.

      I bet when you changed your diet, you cut back on these unhealthy carbs, replacing them with more whole foods (like whole grains instead of refined flours, vitamin and antioxidant loaded fruit instead of sugar laden snacks.)

      Also, your very desire and conscious effort to improve your diet, evokes a huge placebo effect, which alone can have huge impacts in your health. What you believe is huge, and is the very route to why you are resisting the latest scientifically proven evidence based conclusions.

      The low fat opinions formed a hypotheses that was put to the test over many years. We now have actual, factual, scientific evidence based conclusions; that are directly opposed to the original hypotheses.

      True scientific approach must “follow the evidence wherever it goes”; even if it takes you somewhere your subjective mind does not agree with.

      I have only touched upon the subject. Open your mind and look at the studies upon studies that are now available. The opinion based pseudo-science of the 80’s is ancient history. Today we must only look at the facts.

      Also, too low cholesterol raises the risk for Cancer! This is based on scientific evidence. We need everything in proper balance and moderation.

  2. My daughter lost over 100 lbs on the low carb paleo diet. I, on the other hand, HATE the paleo diet with a passion. I lost about 80 lbs by just cutting calories and fat but kept the grains and a wide variety of food. For both of us our LDL cholesterol went down and HDL went up just like it was supposed to. I think the amazing thing about the human body is that it can handle different options and formulas for dieting. There is no ultimate one correct way of eating.

    • “…human body is that it can handle different options and formulas for dieting”

      It’s not a matter of “options”, its a matter of each body’s metabolic variation!

      Western nutritional science stand on the assumption that every bodies metabolize food the exact same way. Nothing can be further from the truth.

      There isn’t ONE diet which fit everyone, because there are variety of human metabolism.

      Ancient traditions such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine pointed out that there are variety of body types which respond to food differently.

      You and your daughter have different type of body and metabolizes food different ways. Your daughter’s body is Parasympathetic dominant while your body is Sympathetic dominant. Polar opposite, and have opposite food compatibility.

      I don’t wanna ramble on about this, but for God sake, please take a look at the work of the late Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez


    • YMMV. Foods like butter and eggs increased my cholesterol levels which is why I gave up butter years ago. I rarely eat eggs.

  3. This is really messing with my head cause there are so many sites that claim cholesterol and saturated fat are not bad but when you search it up on google it says it very unhealthy and you have a max of 300 mg a day. “Eating saturated fat,and trans fat raises your blood cholesterol level even further” i pulled that right from the first page on google. Even in school i was taught that it was unhealthy. I’m starting to workout and want to gain some weight but I’m scared to eat too much meat and eggs for the protein and calories so who do i trust?

    • Trust Chris, he uses real, authentic science behind his works.

      First: your weight gain. If you want to gain muscle you want a diet rich in eggs and meats, even dairy if you are tolerant. Carbs make you gain fat. They are a cheap source of energy, and that’s pretty much it. Your body is perfectly capable of converting fat and protein into sugar, and carbohydrates are not essential to the diet, studies show this. Forget about calories and forget the word exists, it’s a bogus term coined from an experiment in which someone used an oven to burn food to heat water. Unless you happen to be a Bunsen burner, this specific method does not qualify to tell you anything except how much heat you can produce lighting things on fire. Eat as much meat and eggs and dairy as you can without overstuffing yourself, which shouldn’t be a problem because these things sate your appetite and are readily used to build bulk without serious side effects. Also, moving slow produces more strength, so do those mostly. The muscle size will come after but is irrelevant in the long run because even tiny people can be very strong. Strong muscles means strong bones. Stuffing yourself will cause lethargy, so avoid that. It is a great idea to drink a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water before the meal because it pumps your body up for intense protein and fat digestion (by the way, you NEED fat to digest protein, and you NEED cholesterol to digest fat to digest protein; see how that works?) Eating foods rich in probiotics, such as live culture yogurt, cheese, and fermented vegetables, enhances your digestion and improves absorption of nutrients. You also want to reach for the nutrient-dense foods like pasture-raised organ meats (heart, liver, kidneys, brains, spleen, pancreas – yes they are all edible and filled with nutrients to build a great physique), free-range eggs (but poor source of B12, excellent in every other aspect), and whole fat, raw dairy (pasteurized alters the chemical composition and is completely unnecessary). Avoid grains and legumes because they prevent nutrient absorption and cause autoimmune diseases, brain deterioration, fatty liver, joint diseases (arthritis, degeneration), pancreatic stress and disease, kidney disease, et cetera, ad nosium. Leafy greens and non-starchy veggies are a great boost as they slow digestion and allow your body to absorb more nutrients. Certain vegetables like beets and deep greens also cleanse your cardiovascular and urinary tract systems. Minimize fruit to mostly antioxidant-rich ones and not too much. Too much fruit in the diet has negative consequences. Nuts are a great source of good fats and other nutrients, but as they are seeds, do not eat too many because they also harm your absorption of other nutrients like iron, zinc, and magnesium – all of which you should be getting from red meats because those are the bioavailable forms. (Yes, I took advanced classes on both nutrition and fitness and am holding great grades for my doctorate.)

      Onward to your Google search attempt: The problem with Google searching things is that the authorities which make their profits from harmful fats like PUFAs (from corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, grape seed, and peanut oils) go out of their way to blemish any data proving that cholesterol is not only harmless, it’s essential for every function in your body, especially hormone production and brain function. The sites claiming danger of saturated fats and cholesterol are fueled by vegetarian propaganda which has no scientific evidence to support it, but there is plenty of science to prove that their entire platform is hazardous to health. Egyptians were vegetarians, and they suffered all ‘modern’, ‘Western’ diseases. Weston Andrew Price went to Africa and studied many tribes. Those who consumed a meat-based diet had perfect health, perfect teeth, perfect vision, while those on a grain-based or vegetarian diet had vision problems, tooth decay, osteoporosis, jaw deformities, atherosclerosis, obesity, and other diseases the meat-eaters did not have.

      Many who manage and sway their agendas with Google search will try to keep their sites up top to fool people into thinking people like Chris are full of it, but like I said, Chris has real scientific clinical trial studies which prove his words as fact and not just mere opinion. This science can be found on PubMed, which is hosted by the governmental authority the National Institutes of Health. This same authority which has demonized fat, cholesterol, and meat, also has all the proof that those claims are wrong. Whether it is because of ignorance or whether it is because they are hoping people can’t find the scientific articles with all the false and disproven hypotheses floating around, it is uncertain, but it is certain that they need a major talking to about reformation of their health sites using up-to-date scientific information and not the fluff that Ancel Keys made up for a paycheck.

      People with low cholesterol showed major signs of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s progression, as well as lowered brain activity. The brain is 25% of your body’s total cholesterol volume.

      Saturated fat raises HDL lipoproteins (they are not cholesterol even if people call them that, they are a protein that carries cholesterol, cholesterol has NO TYPES, it is carried around by different types of LIPOPROTEINS; trying to explain it in a way that is understandable). HDL is considered “good”, but it’s a flawed misconception. HDL carries cholesterol away from sites in the body, while LDL carries it to those sites. This is equivalent to saying the ambulance driving to the site of a crash is a “bad ambulance” and the ambulance carrying the paramedics and patient back to the hospital is a “good ambulance”. See how dumb that is? It’s the same dang ambulance doing two different functions. Further, there are several sub-types of LDL, two being LDL and VLDL, which are both essential in maintaining the body’s health. The problem arises with chronic inflammation from oxidation, which raises VLDL to intolerable levels, and too much of a good thing is bad, so it’s STILL not “bad cholesterol”, there’s just too much of it because it’s essential in the repair of the damage causing the inflammation. Inflammation is a response from the body telling the repair system that it needs help, and cholesterol is the repair guy. Saturated fat puffs VLDL up in to LDL, which is large and puffy and can’t be forced into the arterial walls through oxidation. The fact that cholesterol is at the site of the arterial plaque means absolutely nothing; it would be the same as blaming the band-aid for the scratches being under it or blaming the ambulance for the accident. Saturated fats also lower triglycerides, which is what you should really be looking out for, not cholesterol. High triglycerides does not mean avoid those, either, it means something is damaging your body and raising them, which ‘vegetable’ oils cause and saturated fat reduces.

      Your cells are made of fat and cholesterol, and lowering either in the diet is like replacing the bricks you are building a house with with jell-o blocks. Scientists found that when fed diets of either saturated fats or unsaturated, the unsaturated group had very flimsy, easily penetrated cells – which means the test subjects could easily get sick even from harmless ‘pathogens’. Saturated fats make strong, resilient cells because the hydrogen bonds are saturated, or full, and thus it is solid but flexible enough to not cause problems. Polyunsaturates cause DNA and cell damage, leading to a possibility of cancer and other diseases. You will not find any of these fats isolated in nature. Poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids need saturated in order to be stable, and some solid fats actually contain more unsaturated fats than saturated in comparison to some plant oils, believe it or not.

      Great books to read on REAL science:
      Eat The Yolks by Liz Wolfe
      Eat Meat and Stop Jogging by Mike Sheridan
      Any books by Gary Taubes
      Any books by Mary Enig
      Any books by David Perlmutter
      Any books by Chris Masterjohn

      And this website is perfect as long as you listen to Chris and read the scientific studies he links throughout his articles. The Weston A. Price Foundation is another reliable source for diet, because it’s comprised of people in every field of study with years and years of formal medical and nutritional education under their belts.

      I know it can be confusing. It was confusing for me until I started my journey to become a nutritionist and expert on health, human physiology, and alternative medicine. I personally back this site 100% because everything is proven by real clinical trial and not observational studies. Do not trust any observational or hypothetical studies, that’s only the first two steps in the scientific method and required three more of clinical trial, repeat, and peer-review. Even peer-review means nothing if they are observational or hypothesis, or if the study uses questionable means. It is just difficult for those not in the scientific field to understand it all, and people like Chris and myself are trying to be here to translate it into an easy concept.

      Hope this helps. Good luck to you.

      • So the fact that I eat a 100% plant based diet and limit my plant based protein to 120g a day means I cant do the 415 bench press i do. Or do cross body hammer curls up to 85 lb db’s for 10 reps or shoulder shrug 550 lbs? Im one of the strongest guys in my guy and have never touched meat, eggs, fish or dairy in the 5 years of lifting. Have never consumed more than 120g of plant protein a day as a normal level (obviously the odd day here and there I might go above it by 20 or 30 just like on some days I might only get 70 or 80g of veg based protein). Gee I guess I need to add meat to my diet or I will just keep being a scrawny weak man.

        • Rob,

          I would assume with a diet like you eat your cholosterol is in the neighborhood of 125? Also, don’t forget, lifting heavy weights or running 10 miles a day does not mean your internal organs are in great shape. Jim Fixx would attest to that. If it works for you body great, hope you stay healthy.

      • Wish this were true. I just completed a year of a plant based diet. Olive oil, flax seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, steel cut oats, kale, etc and guess what? NONE of my cholesterol numbers changed. Not my total, HDL, LDL, or Triglycerides. How can that be? Now I’m baffled as to why Mayo and all these others are pushing these ” superfoods”and heart healthy diets our way. Didn’t help me in the least. I thought that at least my LDL would be lowered if nothing else. Nope!

        38 year old female, 98 lbs.

        • Soledad, that is because your levels are suppose to be where they are.. High, or low your body is regulating them just fine in most cases, the numbers are just averages not cut in stone. I mix fats, proteins and complex carbs and don’t touch poor sugars and don’t mix fats and sugars and my cholesterol levels have stayed the same for 7 years. My ration of LDL and HDL are 2:5 to 1 which 4/1 is good. The math equation to estimate your LDL is missing two variables so that makes a un workable equation yet they still try to estimate your LDL

        • I was borderline very high chol and within 90 days of going plant based my chol plummeted in to the low range (where it has stayed for the 6 years plus eating plant based). Even eating a higher fruit and carb diet my hemo A1C seems to get lower each year (and its already on the low end of the proper range), fasting glucose great, bp great etc. Im just a normal guy (was very fat them) and my dropped like a rock. So did my friends when he was diagnosed with hypertension, high chol an type 2 all in the same Dr appoint. I told him how to eat and told him a book to buy by Neal Barnard for his type 2 and within 3 months his high chol and high bp were normal an he was off all but a low dose oral for his type 2. Three months later for his followup his Dr told him he could quit the oral and just watch his sugar levels on his glucose machine and he has not taken any meds for it since. He did it all with a radical shift from a meat based diet to a plant based diet. You just need to shift what you eat. Im a normal guy, my friend is a normal avg guy and we both had the same rapid results. We are not special examples. Cheers

        • All this article was about that high cholesterol is not bad for health, that cholesterol is vitally important for our bodies. So why do you even want your levels to get changed (lowered i guess)? If plant based diet doesn’t lower cholesterol to dangerously low levels, it is great news for vegans indeed.

        • The same thing happened to me. Eliminate the oil and nuts and your numbers will drastically reduce. Plant based diet must be oil free.

    • NEVER EAT TRANSFAT!! that is right. Eat good fats, butter, grasped meats, etc. coconut oil!! 🙂 and all is good.
      Weston A. Price is an amazing Dr. too bad he’s gone 🙁

  4. I am feeling good. My lipid profile has improved , my wife’s lipid profile improved and all of the people I know personally who tried the LCHF life style lipid profiles improved. Several friends are off statins. Another person I know who was borderline diabetic is no longer at risk.
    I just read an article from Ketogains website (http://ketogains.com/2016/11/deciphering-the-cholesterol-code-dave-feldman/) where the author claims he can influence his serum lipid profile by eating saturated fat for three days prior to getting his blood tested. He claims that his lipid profile will improve dramatically and he actually documents it. My point is that there are people on this thread saying that their cholesterol levels are thru the roof on a ketogenic diet. So, are these people metabolic anomalies or does eating saturated fats actually raise your serum cholesterol levels in the long run. I would just like to get to the bottom of this. Any thoughts ?

    • the body and BRAIN need the fat. Brain is 68% fat…and eating the proper fats keeps your cholesterol in check. It does mine, and my cholesterol is always high!! last I think on my VAP was 315, and at times its 280..I look at the particle sizes of my blood, not the #s.
      My HDLs are so high and I hardly exercise anymore, but when I did it was like 114. 🙂 LDLs went way down with upping my coconut oil consumption. Cholesterol went up a little. Its just Never worried me that my C is high, its genetic and believe me, my genetics have much bigger issues with MTHFR than to worry about this. However that does affect my cholesterol #s

  5. I find this hard to believe since we have “Health Day” at work for years and every time I eat a regular cholesterol diet my cholesterol tests out in the high 200’s. When I go vegan it’s from 150-180. I wonder if these “tests” are influenced by the meat and dairy industry just like so many other studies have been influenced by the money trail.

    • What I am learning is that everyone processes cholesterol differently so you have to find what works for you. One size (one diet) doesn’t work for everyone. High saturated fat diet for one person may not raise cholesterol while for others it will. I’m still frustrated but am trying to make adjustments to see what may be better for my body. I do appreciate all the comments, ideas and suggestions.

    • True that! Cholestorol and saturated fat from animal products can NOT be good for you.
      As we make cholestorol ourselfes it would be weird to get it from other sources other than yourself.

      • I butchered a lard type hog in early December. There was 45 pounds of lard on a 362 pound hog. The meat is very fat and both tender and delicious. I eat nearly every bite of the fat. We had our annual health fair in late January and I got my blood work results today. My cholesterol ran 226 and 229 the prior two years. This year 183.

      • Why do you say that. The tremendous influx in heart disease, diabetes and obesity in this country is in the past 30 years, which just happens to coincide with the latest food pyramid by out govt. Our body was made to eat meat, look no further than the design of teeth in your mouth. Trans-fats I think all would agree are bad and should be avoided. But if ketones are one of the sources of energy our body recognizes why would you imply getting to that point is negative? the only way to get there is a high fat diet, with very low carb and some meat.

        • “Our body was made to eat meat, look no further than the design of teeth in your mouth. ”

          Really? So maybe you can bite through the skin of a cow or goat, or at least you can bite a piece of raw muscle off their body? I can’t. And you can’t too. Simply because we never been designed to be carnivores and eat meat based diet. Yes, we can chew and digest pre-processed(!) meat, we are omnivorous, but our ancestors did eat meat quite occasionally, not every day. Our sharp teeth, though, are perfect to cut through the skin of fruits and vegetables, and our molars are perfect to chew vegetable nutritious pulp. Our long intestines are very good to efficiently digest vegetable-fruit stuff. Our saliva contains amilase – enzyme that digests CARBS. Our stomaches have ph of 2.5. And no, nobody ever say we are herbivores like cows and rabbits. We are mostly fruitovores ànd situatious omnivores. Not even genuine omnivores like bears (look at their teeth).

          Just open the mouth of your cat or dog – that is how teeth of a REAL CARNIVORE look like. See the difference. And they DO NOT have molars. At all. They have no amilase in their saliva, because they are not intended to eat any carbs whatsover. They have short intestines and very acidic stomach enviroment (ph=1) to kill any dangerous bacteria they get when eating raw meat.

        • Some people many thousands of years ago migrated from Africa to far north areas where no nutritious plants can grow. Over these years they adaptated the diet from purely meats, fats and some dairy. But vast majority of people left on the warm lands with wealthy of nutritious plants and conditions for agriculture. So if you are not escimos or someone like that, meat based diet with very low carbs is not how long generations of your ancestors did eat. Have some common sense, until industrial revolution it was absolutely impossible to grow massive numbers of livestock, because agriculturing was so hard. Animals did pasture in all warm months and people slaughtered them before winter, when they did gain weight. Most of people (peasants) did eat lots of meat just once a year. And if we did eat meat every day from hunting (i.e. were carnivores by fact) it would have never allowed our species to reproduce that much, even to the population of several centuries ago.

    • Ray, it’s not the Cholesterol that raises your levels, it is the Bad fats and sugars, so did you know the ratios of bad fats and sugars you eat with the fats. Because that combination is what will raise your ability to manufacture Cholesterol… Native indians in the north pacific eat 80% high fat’s but do not eat sugars with them and guess what? not increase in Cholesterol. You can’t put dietary concepts in vacuums and isolation. It is way more complicated.

    • Plant based for your body ! Plant based for the animals ! Plant based for the planet ! Plant based for the win !

      • Rob, plant based for the win? Lol!
        Plant based for malnutrition, Plant based for the gullible, Plant based propaganda!

        • Malnutrition? I’d say you’ve been drinking the propaganda koolaid from the meat and dairy industry! More micro nutrients in plant foods and also fiber which meat and dairy have zero of! Check out vegan bodybuilding and fitness and see how many skinny malnourished vegan’s are on there! I know many of them personally and no drugs, no smoking and no alcohol! Fit and healthy!!

  6. After 1 year in keto working diligently eating 20-40 carbs Day, exercising daily, feeling better than ever, I was shocked and terribly discouraged to get my blood work back at my annual exam to see my ldl had gone from 120 to 175 and total cholesterol up to 273 from 208. What now?

      • So I’ve been researching a LOT on cholesterol and reviewing my panel again. What I’ve read is that your trigliceride to HDL ratio more accurately predict your risk of cardio vascular issues than just your overall cholestrol number. While my total cholesterol went up, my trigliceride level went down and my HDL went up.

        Harvard study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9355888

        Unless one has a genetic defect of LDL which usually results in cholesterol levels above 350, the total cholesterol level is just about worthless in determining one’s risk for heart disease. This study done in the prestigious cardiology journal used a drug to “prove” this point. One does not have to pay the price with their income or loss of health though by using these drugs to achieve this benefit. It can be done with diet for just about everyone.

        It is important to note what lab values ARE associated with risk for heart disease. Generally the HDL ratio should be above 25 and preferably in the 30s. If it is in the 40s, that nearly guarantees immunity from heart disease. Whereas if it is below 15, and certainly below 10, a heart attack is inevitable. To calculate the ratio simply divide your HDL by your TOTAL cholesterol and multiply by 100 (move the decimal point over two places to the right). It is just a matter of when, not if, it will happen. The triglyceride ratio should be below 2.0.

        my results below. I feel better with this knowledge

        Your Triglycerides level: is in normal range
        Your Total cholesterol / HDL cholesterol ratio is: 3.21 and represents very low risk of cardiovascular diseases
        Your LDL cholesterol / HDL cholesterol ratio is: 2.06 and represents average risk of cardiovascular diseases
        Your Triglycerides / HDL cholesterol ratio is: 0.78 and represents low risk of cardiovascular diseases

        • I’m sorry your Harvard study is from 1997! might want to find an updated source, since Harvard is one who did the turkey study trying to disprove LCHF diets and not only boiled the turkey, but made a major error in calculation yet never corrected for it.

        • don’t forget that the particle size of the lipoproteins and other fats, etc., makes the real picture. you want Larger size fat particles in the blood, not small, which collect inside the arteries and then clog and build up. Yes the ratios are important, I’ve had great ratios with high to very high cholesterol

    • What do you eat every day?

      Best is high ldl, medium hdl and looow triglycerides. Cholesterol is produced by the liver and we need it badly to maintain health. High triglyceride and homocystein levels are responsible for cvd. Plus simple carb intake. Minimize plant by products including oils, maximize animal by products. Especially animal fats.

      • Careful with what you write. High LDL and medium HDL is not a good recommendation. Ideal is high HDL and low LDL and Triglycerides. HDL should be >40 for men and >50 for women, the higher the better, opposite goes for both LDL and triglycerides (the lower the better, recommended levels differ). And responding to a previous comment, no, >40 in HDL is bare minimum for men, it is not protective of AMI. American Heart Association sets >60 as the recommended level for optimum heart condition.

    • The body runs of glucose. Go plant based high carb, low protein, low fat in an 80 – 10 – 10 ratio (approx) You will not have an issue with chol.

      • Cancer runs on glucose (can’t burn fats) thought to be due to non/poor functioning mitochondria. The human body runs best on ketones, especially the brain. Low carb, low protein, high good fats is best but, again, each person has to find that right ratio for themselves. I might suggest Dr. Mercola’s brand new best seller: Fat for Fuel.

        • That’s not entirely true. Cancer cells are adaptogenic, they can mutate and adapt to changes.
          Ketogenic diet to cure cancer have been tried and tried and tried for decades without any success. Dr. Atkins is the father of ketogenic diet in the 90s have Cancer clinic, he was going to cure cancer with ketogenic diet without any success. By the late 90s he closed his practice.

          And now Dr. Sigfried is trying to do the same thing.

          Whether to eat carb or fat, it’s all depend on each person’s individual metabolism. People with Sympathetic dominant body work best with high carb and low fat diet, they utilize glucose better than ketone. Think about South American Indians, they lived of fruits and vegetables (Carbs) all their lives.

          Whereas people Parasympathetic dominant body is the exact opposite, their body work best with high fat low carb diet, they utilize ketone better than glucose. Think about the Eskimoes, they lived of Ketone body all their lives.

          Go study the work of Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez!

      • You must have been educated in the 80’s and 90’s nutrition classes. Check out the new research. The body needs dietary fat for survival. The brain and heart LOVE Ketones. Saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease. Inflammation does.

  7. I have never been overweight but my blood cholesterol levels reached 190 LDL and 260 overall. A slim sibling has similar numbers. A statin made me ill and lowered my HDL, so we stopped it after six months. Now my cholesterol has maintained for 3 years at 104-115 LDL and 170-180 overall. I maintain that by eating an average (averaged over 2 weeks) of 60-90 mg/day cholesterol, 4.4-4.7 % calories from saturated fat, and 9-10% calories from any type of sugar. It is hard to take seriously the recent medical claims that saturated fat and/or dietary cholesterol do not significantly impact blood cholesterol levels. The people who care most about such advisories are those with high cholesterol levels, and they are likely also the people to whom this new advice least applies.

      • Being insulting does not take the discussion forward. Masses of research have been disproved in the past by new thinking. Often a piece of research that tells scientists what they were hoping for drives a certain interpretation that starts a trend and suddenly large groups of researchers find theyre coming up with similar results.

      • The fact of the matter is regardless of cholesterol intake or levels, the overwhelming majority of studies demonstrate a correlation between animal products (which are the sources of dietary cholesterol) and coronary disease. The distinction of where the source of he problem within the animal products comes from.is irrelevant when it is obvious that the food must be avoided regardless. This article seems to miss the elephant in the room, so to speak.

        • Enough with the BS already. We seem to be going around in circles. Let’s get right to it . Opinions aside, is there any conclusive evidence supporting the lipid hypothesis or not . Or, are we to remain forever in limbo,
          trusting only our own biased belief’s.

          • YMMV. As for me personally, the lipid hypothesis is valid. BY keeping saturated fats to a minimum and consuming as little cholesterol as possible my cholesterol levels are as close to ideal as they can get. This means plant-based, high-fibre. Nothing else works … for me.

            • I’m working on getting my cholesterol numbers down. I am so confused from all the conflicting information that I have read, that I am doing my own research for my body. I started eating whole food plant based January 28th and I will have labs done in May. I’m thinking this will clear the confusion for me. Thanks to all.

        • A vegetarian/vegan diet can lower your sperm count and testosterone levels by at least 30%. That is terrible considering all the positive effects testosterone has on your health. Did you know that not just testosterone but every hormone in your body is derived from cholesterol? People who eat diets low in cholesterol have 30% lower testosterone levels. Not to mention its very tough to get adequate levels of vitamin b12 without eating animals/animal products. I guarentee you that every vegetarian is lacking in some micronutrient. I mean sure you can get by without it because the human body is really resilient but if were talking optimal fuel for your body then its the only way to go. Also just as important is your source of animal product. Hormone free, pesticide/herbicide free, antibiotic free, and grass fed are essential to healthy eating because what goes in the animal comes out in the fat, meat and other byproducts. Look up the ill effects of phytic acid in wheat and beans on your gut flora and you will be amazed what you find. Also a diet high in fermented foods is very important. I hope that i can change your mind from being vegetarian because it is bad for your health.

          • Vegan for 13 years, have had blood work done and all is good, not lacking in any nutrients and when doctor looked at blood test results she said I have the cholesterol of a healthy 12 year old! I’m 56, ya I think I’ll stick to my plant based, healthy, cruelty free diet!

            • Same here! My doctor stared at me saying “Keep doing what you’re doing, you have the test results of a 20 year old!” and I’m turning 51 next month. These studies are REALLY suspicious! I’ve read about so many studies that are totally influenced by the money! In one case “NutraSweet” was first banned from the U.S. showing that it caused brain tumors. Then Monsanto bought NutraSweet and FDA approved it by influence of inserting a biased “scientific commissioner” on the board to have it approved and influence the overall decision. This is easy to verify online.

              • Any advice to a person slowly becoming vegan? Foods for testoserone and omegas? As well as for cholestrol? Not overweight and don’t eat cholestrol and mine is at 232 LDL.

                • Yes, don’t do it! It is not healthy to be a vegan. In the end they do not live longer than meat eaters. and they too have health problems. Humans have been eating meat since the beginning of time. God said to eat meat. Be weary of everyone “Test” results that prove a certain way of living is better. All test are subjective. I ate 20 eggs with yolks a week for years and my doctor said I have the lowest cholesterol levels he has seen, so what. Everything in Moderation.

                • Sorry Chris, but you are totally wrong. Of the oldest and healthiest people around, vegans are certainly amongst them.

                • Check out vegan bodybuilding and fitness! I’ve got friends that you will see on that site that are totally plant based, no supplements, no steroids or any crap like that!! There is a FB page as well but think it is closed now so ask to be a member 🙂

                • Chris – “god said to eat meat”! Really, lol! There is a lot of crap including rape in that fictional book called The Bible!

              • I’m glad that you can be healthy on a vegetarian diet. I’m actually a bit envious as I was vegetarian (whole foods, not packaged) for 26 years. After years of health issues I discovered I had almost no iron or vitamin D in my body. I switched to pastured meats, lots of saturated fats (coconut oil, lard, etc), and fruits and veggies. My triglycerides, cholesterol, iron and other nutrients are now at normal to optimal levels without supplementation.
                What I’m saying is– every person is different. Every diet should reflect that. Judging people by what they eat is not helping. It is, in fact, hurting people.

                • No vitamin D? Do you not go in the sun at all? This is a huge issue because people plaster themselves with sunscreen! Get a few minutes of sunshine on your skin every day and if you live further north than Boston, take a vitamin D supplement in the winter time!

                • Never in the history of humans has there ever been a true Vegan society. It is a new age phenomena.

            • its impossible to eat strictly vegan/vegetarian and NOT be deficient in your Bs and other nutrients, vitamins.
              This is a proven fact over years! and many people I know have gone back to eating meat, hopefully good meats BC of lacking vital nutrients needed for proper methylation and mitochondria..sugar does feed cancer, PERIOD and is best left out unless juicing veggie/fruits which many cancer patients do. The fruit sugars can also be just as bad if over done.
              Genetics do play a large roll in how you process cholesterol, I know, I have MTHFR and it matters. Look up your diet by blood type as well, good info. Its correct that your hormones and brain need cholesterol and giving a statin will NOT make you healthier or lower your HA risk. Dr. Mercola can spell that out for ya all. You can become diabetic however with statins…muscle cramps etc. cuz it disables your CoQ enzyme and you must take CoQ if your on a statin. and fat is needed with this supplement 🙂 as fats are needed with all fat soluble vitamins! Grains are deadly, todays wheat is deadly! all Glyphosate which is Round up, you want that in your diet?? I don’t! Grains turn to sugar..:( again, not good. Read Grain Brain or the other books out on grains and their undesirable health effects if eaten, especially too much

              • Blood type diet, well I’m A+ and pretty sure that one says plants! Although I don’t believe that. That is completely false that I’d be lacking in nutrients! I get plenty of B12 (which is a bacteria not an actual vitamin) though and Arbonne fizz stick in my water each day. Also fortified plant based milks have B12. Meat and dairy have zero fibre and that is a huge health issue! Eating foods like kale, spinach, beets, quinoa, beans, hemp seeds etc give me all the nutrients I need. As for Dr Mercola I’m a friend of his girlfriend and she is vegan and he eats almost all vegan except for a piece of fish once a week! Our bodies produce cholesterol and we sure don’t need to be eating animal flesh. As for genetics, both my parents took medication for high cholesterol and my mother ate meat and was always anemic. She died of multiple myeloma at age 71 and my dad still alive at 91 and has had a heart attack, stents, and takes heart medication for his heart, high blood pressure and high cholesterol!! And he was taking cholesterol lowering medication at my age!!

          • Gee Im Vegan and over 40 and bench 415 and can assisted bench in the mid 500’s. I guess I suck because I dont have testosterone in my body.

            • My suggestion to all of the peeps in this conversation, get your Spectracell Test done. It will give you ALL of the micro/macro nutrients that you are deficient in..GREAT test, The nutraval test is another one lots of peeps do, to give you a good look at what you are deficient in.
              The VAP cholesterol test is the best as it gives you the total break down in particle size..this is more important to know than the #s

    • All we can do is to report how exogenous cholesterol affects our own bodies. In mine, I have spent the last half year eating a low fat diet. No cheese, no eggs along with daily steel-cut oatmeal, chicken, fish and avocados. My total cholesterol didn’t budge from my pre-diet numbers, although my HDL was modestly higher. Previously, I ate lots of cheese, eggs and hamburger.

      • You should start eating more saturated fat thats good your getting your omega 3s from fish and monos from avocado but you need to incorporate more saturated fat in your diet for optimal health. I would suggest grass fed butter and grass fed beef lard and whole eggs. Maybe even an egg or two raw every now and then. You will be amazed at the difference

      • Go to http://destinygroup.engage-global.com and read the science behind this micronutrient. It helped me with my cholesterol and other things as well. The micronutrient has 7 patents and 14 clinical studies. It’s plant base and Isoform and crosses the blood brain barrier. It helped me, hope it can help you. Do not get from amazon…higher prices

  8. The late cardiologist and researcher, Dr. SA Mortensen, concluded from his large body of research that HF is largely due to an energy-starved heart. He completed the acclaimed Q-Symbio trial prior to his passing, which achieved a 43% reduction in cardiovascular mortality by using 300mg of myoqinon ubiquinone daily. There is a large review of the study at http://www.q-symbio.com

  9. I like the taste of bacon, butter, grilled meats, but I eat plant based and I do not ADD oils such as olive,vanilla or any type of oil to my food. As I am trying to also lose fat from my body, I avoid high fat plant foods such as avocado and nuts. Once my weight stabilizes, I will include fattier plant foods again. After much exasperation with my dr. Wanting me to take statins, I am now working with a dr who is plant based. Although I was plant based for a year, on my own volition, my cholesterol barely went down. My new doc suggested I ELIMINATE all oils and my chloresterol dropped 50 points. Yes, I miss the taste of oils a bit, but ESTATIC about my health and I look and feel fabulous. I am not religious, but I often think about what a bunch of gluttons our society has turned into. Yep, even the thin people lol! Industrial animal agriculture is polluting the planet and oceans. Thought I’d share if cholesterol levels are important to you.

    • I feel so sorry for your poor body. If you can keep it up you just might achieve 0 cholesterol and then you will be dead. I hope you do more research on this.

    • Your doctor should have their medical license revoked. That is absolutely horrible advice. I eat tons of healthy fats like avocado and olive oil on everything and I am skinny as a rail. What I don’t eat are processed foods and refined carbohydrates
      which have been shown to increase heart disease.http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/carbs-against-cardio/
      think about Inuit tribes that live off seal fat and have virtually no incidence of heart disease or cancer. Our bodies are meant to eat fat and have been meant to do so for 250,000 years.

      • Amen! I was very scientific in my approach to evaluating the affects of eating carbohydrates (refined are worse) and processed foods. I did blood tests at the beginning and after 90 days and had a significant drop in Cholesterol. I have gotten lazy over the years and now at 53 am sitting at 231. I am jumping back on to a diet consisting of fish, chicken, eggs and green vegetables. I am defying my doctor’s advice to get on Stantin and will go back in 3 months. If I am wrong, I will consider Stantin at that time, but I will be surprised if I don’t see a drop in my cholesterol.

      • God the amount of wrong info on this page and comments is horrific. It’s an insult to all the science that’s been done and people that have died. It’s like saying smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer. Holy shit.. Good luck trying to live a long, healthy life with whatever info you carry in your head!

        Eskimos being healthy is a myth. Eskimos have a shorter life expectancy, higher rates of strokes and atherosclerosis and so on.. Dr.Greger goes through the research studies/data in this vid: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/omega-3s-and-the-eskimo-fish-tale/

        You can also read through the sources and the studies cited for the video.. Here’s the video transcript: “…In fact, going back over a thousand years, we have frozen Eskimo mummies with atherosclerosis. Another from 500 years ago, a woman in her early 40s – atherosclerosis in her aorta and coronary arteries. And these aren’t just isolated cases. The totality of evidence from actual clinical investigations, autopsies, and imaging techniques is that they have the same plague of coronary artery disease that non Eskimo populations have, and actually have twice the fatal stroke rate and don’t live particularly long. Considering the dismal health status of Eskimos, it is remarkable that instead of labeling their diet as dangerous to health, they just accepted and echoed the myth and tried to come up with a reason to explain the false premise. Such dismal health that the Westernization of their diets actually lowered their rates of ischemic heart disease. You know your diet’s bad when the arrival of Twinkies improves your health. So, why do so many researchers to this day unquestioningly parrot the myth? Publications still referring to Bang and Dyerberg’s nutritional studies as proof that Eskimos have low prevalence of heart disease represent either misinterpretation of the original findings or an example of what’s called confirmation bias, which is when people cherry pick or slant information to confirm their preconceived notions. To quote the great scientist Francis Bacon: “We prefer to believe what we prefer to be true.” And so, literally thousands of articles on the alleged benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, we’ve got a billion dollar industry selling fish oil capsules, millions of Americans taking the stuff, all based on a hypothesis that was questionable from the beginning.”

        • Don’t believe everything you read. All of these anti-cholesterol studies are funded by big pharma. Follow the money, you’ve been duped. Statins are a big scam, moneymaker.

      • Olive oil damages endothelial cells. You can be skinny and have shit arteries. Don’t assume you’re safe. It depends why you’re skinny and on your diet/lifestyle.. You can be skinny because of a cocaine habit, chemotherapy and tuberculosis and other problems.. You need to look at overall health including how diseased/healthy your arteries are.

        The research shows most kids these days have heart disease thanks to a shit diet/lifestyle. People that died in the army – big tough guys were found to have heart disease. So exercise wasn’t enough.. It was the diet.. I would watch that diet/lifestyle.. Good luck!

        • Yeah, a diet consisting mostly of refined carbs. It’s not the cholesterol and fat causing heart disease. It’s atherosclerosis, which is caused by all the trash carbs that our grocery stores are full of these days. Food pyramid is what’s killing you. Government doesn’t care about you. All that matters is money. USDA corn

        • FACT: The Mediterranean diet (that consists of lots of extra virgin olive oil) has the lowest rates of heart disease in the world! If extra virgin olive oil was damaging this factual statistic would be impossible!

          The biggest problem with olive oil is heating it. These ‘studies’ still don’t get it. There is a huge difference between eating fresh cold pressed extra virgin olive added to food at the table vs cooking with it. Yet your source does not address this issue. How did the test subject eat it? Did they fry / sauté with it?

          Also, the text of the chart states virgin olive oil, but the speaker says extra virgin olive oil. (Why are there so many stupid nutritionally uneducated M.D. out there? Answer: M.D. are NOT doctors of nutrition, but of drugs and surgery.)

          In Europe (where the research came from) has a class of olive oil that is not available in North America. It’s called virgin olive oil and is inferior (sold for less money) vs extra virgin olive oil.

          Extra virgin olive oil is the first cold pressing of the olive. Then it is pressed again, the additional pressing causing the oil to become heated; this second pressing is called virgin olive oil. Next the olives are subjected to chemical and heat extraction, which is simply called olive oil. It confuses things when it is marketed as “pure olive oil” or “classic olive oil” but make no mistake this grade of olive oil is not much better than any other heat extracted commercial oil.

          The fact that the “doctor” missed this is appalling.

          Just like the FACT that people in the tropics that eat lots of coconut fat have almost non-existent heart disease.

          Follow the WHOLE facts and stop taking incomplete information and hypothesizing fabricated conclusions (not you, the “doctor”)!

    • Well said Lisa. Having been diagnosed with Hypertension, I went to a plant-based lifestyle and I am now feeling great and no longer have high BP.

    • just don’t cry when you end up with galbladder stones. No fats makes bile sit in your galbladder and form stones. I agree your doctor is killing you, but slowly.

    • Lisa, check out the FB site “Reversing Diabetes” & read some case histories there (if you can’t find them just ask in a comment where they are). You will see story after story of people who who have lost tremendous amounts of weight by eating lots of at with low cholesterol. When I participated in a medically run clinic for weight loss, they consistently told us we NEED FAT to LOSE FAT!!

    • Essential oils are “essential”. Eliminating all fat would mean eliminating the essential oils. That is very bad for your health. Humans are designed to eat a variety of foods for optimal health. If you decide to eliminate entire nutrient types, i.e. fats, you better know exactly what you are doing, know what problems you will cause and how to fix them.

    • As a newly (7/8/16) diagnosed Type 2 diabetic I adopted a low carb high fat way of eating, in three months stabilized, lost 20 pounds and I’m now off medication.

    • I am with Lisa. After many years of struggling with total cholesterol over 350, I changed to the vegan no-oil diet and my cholesterol dropped 152 points in 2 months, and my blood pressure which averaged about 150/90 is now 125/63. So when will “science” catch up with reality? Most people claim that I must not get enough protein or fat, but after doing the numbers on this diet, my plant based diet is still 10% fat and 50 grams of protein.

      • Hi Sandra. The longest living people around the world (Blue Zones) eat diets centred around plants. These are Low Fat, High Carb, Low calorie density, High nutrient density diets.

        The science is fine. The evidence only gets clearer about what to eat/not eat.. Most people are just really out of touch with the science, the research, the body of evidence and are confused because they haven’t done their research or can’t get to the truth of the matter. Check out nutritionfacts.org who walk through the research studies and evidence in their videos. They read through 10’s of 1000’s of studies/journal papers and so on to try to understand the field of nutrition + evidence based medicine…

    • I’m not a doctor but I would suggest you have some fat in your diet, whether it be avocado or nuts and seeds, not a lot but some. Our bodies need some fat for absorption of important fat soluble vitamins, A D E K 🙂

    • so agree with you on the fact that todays confined feed lot animals are wrecking the earth and causing numerous issues ! If we grew grass in our open spaces and feed our animals what they really need, which is NOT grains, as they have never had the stomaches to eat grains, only grass. Cows eat GRASS folks, not GMO grains..they lay down to ruminate and chew their cud..omg, has the world gone so crazy and screwed up that they all forgot the correct Diets for these animals. 🙁 The reason for the antibiotics is that the grains being fed are full of Round up and that is what’s killing us Humans, and therefore also the animals we eat! Anything that is given to them that shouldn’t be, is what we eat in their meat or milk or butter, cream etc. Don’t eat feedlot animals, eat locally grown meats, grass fed, NO antibiotics and no growth hormones and NO GRAINS with glyphosate !!!

  10. Too many posts to read. Too many “opinions” and misinformation abounding. I try to keep it really simple: What were we all born to eat? Meat. Vegetables. For those who say we weren’t born to eat meat, yes you are. There are certain processes at work in your body that are ONLY present in carnivores. You want a diet plan that works? You want the body of your dreams? First, figure out your caloric requirement (for whatever you are trying to accomplish). Now divide that up among the meals in your day. Now fill those calories with plenty of vegetables and fats/meats. Obviously, the bulk of your food should be vege, but most of your calories will undoubtedly come from your fats and meats. Currently, I consume eggs, plain oatmeal (sparingly, for my workouts), chicken/bison/beef liver/salmon, almond butter (which I grind myself), conconut oil, whole avocados, and many various vegetables and a couple fruits. Now train like a beast. And stop cheating. Even a little bit of cheating will derail what you’re trying to do.

    • Not eating meat for the majority of vegetarian is not about whether or not we were BORN to eat meat (which we probably were)…it’s about the abhorrent nature of the meat industry and gross mistreatment of animals.
      It’s also about the hormones given to the animals (including numerous undercover videos which show farms using hormones that claim not to) and that they kill and process the sickly and diseased animals as well.
      just sayin…

      • This is the reason I respect the most. And it’s genuine. Everything else about nutrition is just a scare tactic.

      • no we were not born to eat meat, if we were studies wouldnt show that meat is the cause of cancer, and other starchy diseases and brain mental health problems


  12. I have different opinion about the clogging of unsaturated fatty acids.
    Because most of the (re)actions taking place in cell and cell-wall are not chemical reactions.
    They are electrical, mechanical and binding actions due to the electrical and mechanical properties of the molecules.
    The binding force taking place is “Electro Static” and “Van der Waals forces”. (example formation of lipid bilayer)
    Packing factor of saturated fatty acids are much higher than unsaturated fatty acids, because of the irregular shape of unsaturated fatty acids.
    High packing factor of Cholesterol and saturated fatty acids coupled with the presence of tiny calcium compounds can clog the arteries.

    • Chemistry is by definition electrical, the chemical properties of a substance relate to protons and electrons. Van Der val forces are subtle electrical/chemical forces, mostly only significant at temperatures that kill everything, so they are not a good first guess for any biological event.

  13. i have been eating coconut oil and coconut milk regularly for 6 months and my cholesterol and LDL shot up. i am stopping now

    • Jason,
      I’ve been doing the Paleo for just about 1 month. I went for my physical Monday & got my results back on Tuesday. ALL my levels were up! I’ve never had high cholesterol & now it’s 310!!! Glucose is up also. Guess all the stuff I bought won’t get used!!

      • I have been on a paleo diet for over a year and my cholesterol is the lowset it has ever been. My blood glucose is perfect as well. I have also lost 50 pounds. But I saw cholesterol improvements within a month or two

    • Did your HDL go up? Did your triglycerides go down? The whole point of this article was that even the 25% of people whose cholesterol levels do rise, that these more important markers improve.

    • I went on the high fat diet for the last 6 months and all my numbers shot up except for the HDL which stayed the same. I would definitely get blood work done as you could be doing yourself a great disservice.

      • Same thing happened to me. My cholesterol shot up to over 360! My HDLs remained the same. Every body isn’t the same. I’m now going back to increasing carbs and lowering fats. The doctor said in the last year and a half, my new diet has made my health worse according to the blood tests.

        • I’m 65 years old, weigh 295 and type 2 diabetic – with high cholesterol – Went on a diet and started to ride my bicycle – Lost 40 lbs in 4 months –

          1. Blood pressure is 120/70 ( It was not much higher when I started)
          2. Total Cholesterol is 150 – HDL 55 (Was 212 total )
          3. Fasting Blood glucose is 105-110 ( Was around 125-150)

          Dr cut Diabetes meds in half / cut cholesterol meds in half and said if the results are the same in 6 months will cut them out all together .

          The number one thing I did was track what I ate – Watched sat fats , didn’t worry about fat (olive oil ,nuts, and avocados- All plant based by the way) Started eating eggs 2-3 times a week , ate more vegetables , fruits and nuts ,cut down on canned and processed food as much as possible .
          The biggest change you can make is cutting out “empty” carbs – If it doesn’t have a significant amount of fiber ,don’t eat it – Whole wheat bread as opposed to white bread – barley instead of rice etc.
          2nd biggest change is get out and move !!

          • The biggest change you made was adding exercise by riding your bike. People often make dietary changes at the same time they start an exercise regimen, then when they lose weight and their blood numbers change, they credit their diet. Blood work numbers have little value. They vary from individual to individual, and some people with low cholesterol are unhealthy while some people with high cholesterol are perfectly healthy etc. Truthfully lack of activity is the most likely culprit behind supposed increase in obesity and heart disease in the U.S. People who exercise frequently, hard enough to get the heart rate up for a little while each work out, can eat anything they want and remain healthy and at a healthy weight. Those same people generally choose healthier foods in all food groups, however, because their active bodies feel better eating cleanly (avoiding processed artificial foods).

    • Same. The coconut oil is now being used only for skin cream. I’m done with the coconut/paleo lie.
      Back to the Zone diet where my levels were good, HDL high and LDL low.

    • are your coconut milk of good organic quality, no Carageenan? which is a carcinogen.
      oil must be unrefined, organic, cold pressed or expeller pressed. not all milks out there are created equal, and I’ve used them for several years, and it’s not adversely affect my cholesterol for the worse at all 🙂

  14. If you want to know how your body responds to a low carb and high fat diet and all the wonderful benefits.. watch this interview:

    Also the doctors behind the movie “Run on Fat” Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D. & Stephen Phinney, MD, Ph.D. have amazing additional info in this video:

    Extensive research has been done by these doctors on how are bodies respond to a ketogenic diet and all the benefits of switching to a low carb food plan. Really inform yourselves with current information done with new technology that has made amazing new discoveries about the food we eat.

    • I recommend everyone get blood tests to see how any diet affects them. My cholesterol is now through the roof because of all the fat I’m eating. Current information doesn’t help my individual body’s reaction.

      • I’m in the same boat. Started the high fat, low carb (no sugar, no grain) diet in July. The good news is that by December, I lost 26lbs (most of it fat), from 246 to 220! As a 50 yr old male at 6′ 3″ with an athletic build, this is an optimum weight for me. The bad news is my total cholesterol shot up from 267 to 396! LDL went from 189 to 307! Gonna quit the butter, bacon, and red meat for awhile and go to more veggies, lean chicken, and fatty fish. Hopefully things will come back down – I guess I am sensitive to dietary intake of sat fat.

      • DIET FOR BLOOD TYPE! check it out..by Dr. D’Adamo. you may need more of a plant based diet, good luck but good fats are still needed, NO way around that, just watch your intake

  15. I highly suggest you learn what doctors like Caldwell Esselstyn have learned at places like the Cleveland Clinic:

    • Yay for an intelligent post! Dr.Caldwell Esselstyn is a cardiologist from the Cleveland Clinic which is the number 1 place in the world for Cardiology and Heart surgery? I’d look at his evidence + research and trust his advice considering how many people he’s helped and how he’s been able to prevent 2nd episodes of cardiac problems from strokes to heart attacks and death… On his plant based diet with NO OILS they found people had a 1% chance of a 2nd episode of cardiac problems.. Everything else was far shitter and much worse for causing a 2nd episode of cardiac problems and death.. E.g. people on a mediterranean diet had a 25% chance of a 2nd episode and we’re only looking at the healthy diets. Not even talking about the really bad ones.. Where people are probably guaranteed a 2nd cardiac episode and/or death?


    • You can have a high cholesterol and still be good. My husband HDL is 130 and his LDL is 80. His overall cholesterol is very high but his coronary risk is very low.

      • How is a persons coronary risk assessed? other than what is currently standard (albeit non-coherent) cholesterol levels?


    • My cholesterol levels went from 5.3 to 7 after coming off simvastatins, but I lost 4 inches from waist, 3 ins from hips and lost 12lb in weight in 7 month, but I felt great and all my sinus and mouth problems healed up after years of hell. My doc put me on stronger statins again for two month, and will take my bloods again to see if they work. I am however eating what are termed bad foods, crisps, chips again etc. my mouth and sinus probs have returned and a biopsy is being done soon. Can’t wait to see if bad eating helps my cholesterol levels.

      • why are you eating crap foods like crisps and chips and crap.?? those are all empty calories and made of ingredients NO one in their right mind wants to eat, and your mouth and sinus are telling you that. Why the F wait for you Dr. to tell you something that your body is already telling you?? PEOPE listen to your body, get to know it and get off the processed foods which is why your cholesterol and other things are so bad. If I suffered sinus and mouth problems, whatever you mean by that, think I’d stop! why wait for a dr. that probably has NO nutritional back ground, never has and is just pumping you full of Big Pharma chemicals that will kill you and put you into a diabetic state? ugh

    • Your Tryglyceride/HDL ratio is fantastic. And your high HDL is cardioprotective! Total cholesterol and LDL alone are poor risk factor associations. I also question people who say they were paleo and or low carb and had crazy increases in their numbers…you really need to look at the “low carb” foods they were eating.

  17. I have read many comments here.. I like one very much by Robert Baqrrett
    DECEMBER 12, 2015 AT 3:21 PM .. and then there were other good ones and some of people that even for eating butter because margarine is bad… yes… What is wrong with people???? common sense tells you don’t eat margarine and chemical stuff…and Don’t Eat butter Either.. To those that want to eat all the butter and promote it ..you are probably Fat.. yes… I said it.. Fat.. and I have been Fat in my life.. face reality… eat a balanced, low fat, low carb veg and fruits and lean meats..preferably beginning with high omega seafood first, then if you must have meat…eat bison or venison ..then fish and white chicken meats… no sugars because it is on so many reputable sites that especially refined sugars are bad for you.. so get with the program and stop making excuses for lack of discipline…that was MY PROBLEM.. I admit it… I was making excuses for my lack of discipline. Period.. that book chicken soup for the soul…had one very good line.” discipline is the tool necessary to solve most of life’s problems” and looking back.. if I had only been disciplined..things would have been different for me.. I am not trying to insult anyone..just trying to help..sometimes we need a slap in the face to face reality… Remember Folks….. the biggest obstacle to solving the weight cholesterol ldl etc…problems….the biggest obstacle can easily be our BRAINS and THOUGHT PATTERNS.. get in sink wiht the program …otherwise …your obesity or lack of discipline can cost you your life or worst…like I have seen so many people when I go with my church to the nursing home… it could cause you to end up in a nursing home because you had a stroke ….all because you had to have your butter and high fat meets and all that stuff that you really know…isn’t good for you… good luck to all of you.. remember… it’s not the stomach that needs fixing or even shrinking… it’s the BRAIN that needs adaptation and new habits and RULES to follow.. good luck and eat healthy !

    • The problem with proper diet is that many people try to to grasp the subject by casual observations, such as associating the state of fat and room temperature and intuitively translate it to how “it” will stay in your blood vessels.

      @Vince, since you emphasize so much on using your brain, let me challenge you with this thought experiment.

      Fat: 1 gram = 9 Calories
      Protein: 1 gram = 4 Calories
      Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 Calories

      So if you are on a low carb, low fat diet, how much protein you think an average person will need to ingest and assimilate everyday? What is your observation there after doing the math?

    • I’m size six, spend 8 hours a week at the gym ( 4 hours doing 12 miles at 3.7mph on a 5 incline and 4 hours strength training with 50 pound reps) and eat several sticks of butter a week. Maybe even more.
      You want to get with the program, get disciplined, then the fact is butter is awesome for you. YOU need to exercise more, get that fat ass moving. FACT: butter is a health food.

      • I totally agree I probably eat only a stick of butter a week myself but still. My doc keeps telling me my cholesterol is high (waiting for test results in the mail) well with me it is genetic but once I get the results and see it is not as high as they claim it is I am not worried. I excerise regularly eat a healthy diet and I am of a normal weight. Guess the doc feels they are not doing their job if they don’t tell me this.

        • There is a huge connection between diet and the heart. This connection is meat, eggs, and dairy. This has been proven through the research at Cleveland Clinic. These things cause inflammation and lesions in the arterial walls, in turn causing cholesterol to form over the irritated spots, which is the body’s way of attempting repair of the damaged arterial walls. This is not theory or conjecture. Look up YouTube videos by well-respected doctors like Caldwell Esselstyn. He has done extensive research in this field. Plant-based diet is the only truly healthy diet for humans.

        • Yes I felt the same until I had a Dr tell me I had a heart murmur which turned out to be a an 80% blocked carotid artery. I guess I’m one of those unfortunate few who can’t eat eggs, fats and food containing cholesterol. Get checked out before throwing away the low fat diet.

          • Jennie,
            You likely don’t have a heart murmur from a blocked carotid artery – you have a bruit (you may also have a murmur, but that would be caused by something different). You are actually a person that can be eating eggs, fats, and foods containing cholesterol. Likely your blocked carotid is from eating high-carb and pro-inflammatory foods (i.e. processed foods). Get your insulin levels under control (and HbA1c). That would be a good start. You can get your insulin under control using a paleo diet for a start.

      • Thank god someone said it! Yay for good fats. That other guy should get with the program thinking he knows it all and actually go talk to a health professional about good fats and low carb dieting like I did! She was all for eating butter and I’ll tell you what one lost 4 lbs already in a week and I’ve eaten plenty of olive oil and real butter in that time!

      • My mother in law was the only one in a large family , who was given the butter ration during the war.
        She ate butter all her life, she died aged 90 of “old age” long after her siblings. Maybe jsut lucky , but I say eat grass fed butter pure and natural.

    • Dear Mr Gomez. I suspect you have been brainwashed into believing that you are worthless and weak and that you are somehow responsible for your condition. I strongly urge you to view some of the Robert Lustig lectures on YouTube and perhaps take a look at the what Dr Ron Rosedale has to say about Leptin resistance.
      Its not your fault.

    • Vince, sorry, but I need to challenge your theory… I eat a high fat, high protein diet. I cook with butter and heavy cream and whole milk and egg yolks and lots of bacon. And I am thin. Well below the metric for my height. I believe strongly that eating healthy fat improves metabolism and keeps your body from hoarding and storing it. My thighs and flanks hold less fat now than when I was dieting and bloated all the time. I don’t count calories and eat dessert nearly every day.

    • I eat butter all the time. Probably about 1 cube per week. I am NOT fat! I am quite slim. Oh, and I eat bacon almost every day. I DO NOT eat many carbs at all, but all the fat I want. So, sorry — your assertion that people who eat butter are fat is wrong.